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Do the ends justify the means?

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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
In a general sense, do you believe the ends justify the means?

1 = never
10 = always
 

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Yep.
 

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Sometimes... again it depends on ethics, values, morality, humanity...

Yes as in - I'm sorry that not going with your idea will hurt your feelings... but its a bad idea, so I have to achieve my goal and go with X's idea instead to make this happen.

No as in - I don't believe that in WWII the Germans should have tortured the jewish folk and other 'undesirables' with experiments because it was cheap, not illegal, had a vast population sample and fast results, to advance medical science.

There are so many grey areas from the moral, value, ethics, and humanity side of things...
 

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ENTJ, 8w7
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More often than not, yes.
 

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ILI
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Well I guess that depends on what the ends are, doesn't it?

Sometimes you put more effort into something than the ends are even worth.

Like studying for a hard-as-fuck class on pointless material that you will forget immediately after the test and never even need to know again.

And then you think about how that class occupies but one grade slot in a sea of at least 20 or more. And mere points on a test have such an extremely small impact on your GPA. It's almost pointless (if not completely pointless) to even put effort into something that requires so much to get the ends.


Especially when you can be putting that effort and time elsewhere. Bonus points if that elsewhere place is more productive.
 

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For me, yes. If I can save 20.000 people by killing 10.000, I would. The intention has to be pure, however.
 

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Well I guess that depends on what the ends are, doesn't it?
Yeah, if your ends are stupid and net detrimental to society, then no. But if the goal is something that would benefit a lot of people and you just might have to step on a few toes to do it, absolutely.

If the means violate a deep personal ethic of mine while not fulfilling any meaningful moral value in return (IE letting one person die would be more okay with me than knowing I could have saved thousands of lives by killing that one person), then absolutely not. Not a deontologist, but if your ends are good, then usually the means will be justified. If your ends are good but the means aren't justified, find better means. It's not that hard to come up with a better solution.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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In a general sense, no. I think it's a backwards way of approaching morality and as a philosophy, is bound to do more harm than good.

If the means are so fucked up as to undermine what the ends will be like, then something needs reexamining.
 
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Reactions: raskoolz

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No, it doesn't.

Integrity, justice, honesty, moral & superior ethics are sine qua none conditions for true greatness.

At the end of the day it pays out.


Per Aspera Ad Astra - apply it to yourself and demand it then from others.
 

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It's an ethical question that I ask myself quite frequently... I guess not really. They do in some specific situations but mostly, actions have other consequences than just the one we want to achieve - I often handle based on this mentality, I just work this way but then, after some time passes I discover that the "ends" justified the means but that there are actually some other "ends" I did not think about and my action wasn't "really" justified, just the product of my way too straightforward thinking that forgot the ripple effect.
 
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Reactions: Intpee

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As a logical thinker I would say 10/10. Means define the end regardless of whether they were intentional or not.
 

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Unfortunately, YES! You have to be strong and follow your instinct no matter how difficult it is...
 
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